Welcome To Hugo, Oklahoma
Author Dave Johnson Thursday, Mar 31, 2011 http://www.easttexasdailynews.com/ Welcome to Hugo, Oklahoma. This town of about 5,400 is one of the gateways into Oklahoma from Texas. It is the county seat of Choctaw County and located in the tourist area known as Kiamichi Country. Oklahoma is divided into seven tourist areas with Kiamichi Country encompassing the Southeastern part of the state. Several famous musicians came from Hugo the most notable probably being B.J. Thomas. Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bill Grant and the 5 Americans all came from Hugo but the list of famous people doesn't end with musicians. Buster Brown was from Hugo and is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetary. Actually William Edmond Ansley was one of more than 20 midgets hired by the shoe company to portray the five-year-old comic strip character. Ansley portrayed the character for 27 years. He died of a heart attack in 1972 and is buried under a shoe in the cemetary. Mt. Olivet has two other prominent areas--Circus and Rodeo. Known as Circus City U.S.A., Hugo is the winter home of three traveling circuses, Carson & Barnes, Kelly-Miller and Culpepper-Merryweaher. With this many circuses, there are bound to be many deaths as performers and owner age. Mt. Olivet Cemetary has a section known as Showman's Rest identified by granite markers topped with an elephant statue. The section is the final resting place for the founder of Kelly-Miller, Obert Miller. His son D.R. who founded Carson and Barnes is also found in Mt. Olivet as are many other Millers. By the way, there was never a Carson or Barnes, D.R. just liked the way the names sounded together. Rodeo has always been a big deal in Hugo and Mt. Olivet has three world champion bull riders in residence. "Daddy Whatley was the R.C.A. All Around Cowboy of 1947, and the Bull Riding Champ of 1953. He was shot to death in 1966. Freckles Brown is a legendary name in rodeo and the Freckles Brown Memorial Bull Riding event takes place in Hugo each year. Brown won his World Championship in 1962 but may have been more famous for riding Tornado, The Unrideable Bull in 1967. Lane Frost always wanted to be buried next to Freckles and got his wish much too soon. Frost, who was the 1987 World Bull Riding Champion, was killed by a bull in 1989 at the age of 25. As a tribute to Urban Myth, there is a gravestone for Max Bryan "Turk" Robinson who is not dead. Everyone believes Robinson died of cancer because that's the rumor that continues to be told. The story is repeated because Robinson was the the original "Marlboro Man".